The first phase of the countrywide 72-hour hartal, called by Jamaat-e-Islami protesting the International Crimes Tribunal-1 (ICT-1) verdict that awarded death penalty to the party Ameer Moulana Motiur Rahman Nizami for his war crimes during the Liberation War in 1971, is underway from 6am on Thursday.
The shutdown will continue till 6am on Friday while the second phase will begin from 6am on Sunday and end at 6am on Tuesday.
Hartal supporters brought out separate processions in Lalbagh, Sayedabad bus stand, Rampura, Lalbagh Amtala, Khilgaon, Chawkbazar and Bakshibazar areas of the capital city in the morning.
The Jamaat-Shibir activists vandalized two CNG auto-rickshaw at Fakirapool area in the capital. They also blasted ¾ cocktails in the area. Witnesses said, the Jamaat-Shibir man brought out a procession in favour of hartal in the area led by Jamaat’s Public Service Commission member Dr. Helaluddin.Police could not arrest any one in this connection.
Private vehicles and auto-rickshaws were seen playing the city streets in short numbers while buses ran less than usual.
No long-route buses departed from the city in the morning while train movement was normal.
All government offices and many private ones remained open in the morning with almost normal attendance.
News agency UNB said, Police in a drive arrested six activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir, student wing of Jamaat, from a mess at the city’s East Monipur in the morning while seven others were arrested from Lalbagh Amtala as they brought out a procession in support of the hartal.
Pickets blasted two crude bombs in the city’s Khilgaon area around 8:00am.
In Bogra, Shibir activists exploded two crude bombs at PTI intersection of the district town in the morning.
Police also shot five rounds of bullet to disperse the activists of Jamaat and Shibir when they staged a demonstration torching tyres in the area around 7:30am.
In Chapainawabganj, members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered 30 crude bombs from Lalabazar of Sadar upazila in the morning.
In Chittagong, hartal is being observed in the port city lackadaisically.
Jamaat's acting ameer Makbul Ahmed and acting secretary general Dr Shafiqur Rahman announced the hartal immediately after the verdict was pronounced on Wednesday afternoon.
The tribunal sentenced Nizami, the I971 commander-in-chief of Al Badr, a secret killing squad of Jamaate -e-Islami, the capital punishment each on four counts of charges of war crimes, terming Al Badr a criminal outfit.
The three-member tribunal also sentenced Nizami, a former cabinet member during the BNP-Jamaat alliance’s rule (2001-06), to life term imprisonment each on four other war crime charges.